My friend Mary can look at any tree and tell me the type and age of it. She was proven correct over the weekend when she pointed out a huge Chinese Tallow tree and stated that it was only 12-15 years old. No one believed her, until a worker at the restaurant confirmed that the tree was, in fact, 14 years old.
Trees are super important to me, and I’ve practically lived in a forest for 10 years–our house is surrounded by at least 6 pecans, 4 oaks, 4 crape myrtles, and lots of other varieties that Mary hasn’t identified for me yet. But these aren’t just trees, they are massive, 100+ year-old, 30+ foot-tall giants that shade my house, produce nuts, and provide shelter for the critters. These trees might be what I miss the most when we finally do make the move to the new (completely tree-less) lot.
Since the lot is a blank canvas, I’ve been doing a lot of research about the best trees to plant for our area. Natives are plants that are supposed to live in this climate, and therefore, they grow faster and bigger because of it. I’ve been using A&M’s Texas Native Trees Database and the gardening section in the Houston Chronicle, along with a bunch of books, to find the right trees for the space.
Trees are expensive to buy new, so I’m trying to use as much as I can from our old lot. I plan to bring at least two of my juvenile pecans (they sprouted a few years back under a big pecan tree). I was surprised this weekend when I found out that what I thought was a new sprig of night-blooming jasmine is actually a Chinese Parasol tree (an intersting fast-growing native with a green trunk), so I’ll be bringing that along too and hoping that someday it turns out like this:
image from University of Alabama
I’m also thinking of a white flowering tree, maybe an oleander (trained into a tree, like below) or a crape myrtle, although they can be a total pain since you constantly have to trim and pick up after them.
image from Performance Nursery
I’m excited to get these things in the ground and let them grow as we get ready to move. I’m also excited about the fact that we get to choose what we want growing, instead of inheriting someone else’s vision, like what we have now. Yay for trees!